Three Birth Stories
Tonya’s first pregnancy ended in a misscarriage at 10 weeks, which lead to a D&C, continuous bleeding, and a hysteroscopy.
After her miscarriage, Tonya had a rough second pregnancy, fighting with all-day and all-night (morning) sickness all the way until the 3rd trimester. Also, the baby continued to be on the smaller side which lead to many ultrasounds. After having a miscarriage, Tonya was relieved to be able to see her baby so often, but she was always in the breech position. Every ultrasound, from 20 weeks on, she was in the same position. Baby was monitored for fluid levels, growth, and head size. Because she continued to be breech, Tonya reluctantly started planning a scheduled c-section. Tonya had always hoped for a vaginal birth, but she quick;y realized things don’t always go as planned. The day they went to the c-section, they did an ultrasound to make sure she still hadn’t turned and, sure enough, she was still in the same position; so, they continued on with the c-section. Everything went smoothly and they met their firstborn, Teal.
Second Birth Story – VBAC with Epidural
With Tonya’s next birth, she was determined to have a VBAC, but at the same time, she just wanted her baby here safely, whatever way that was going to be. Tonya didn’t want to put so much pressure on herself that she would be disappointed in how her baby was birthed. She was very nervous about what was going to happen.
Tonya tried everything in the books to have the baby on time because her care providers encouraged having the baby around 40 weeks or shortly after for a VBAC. Tonya was walking, even running, trying to get the baby out after 39 weeks. It felt to her like it was never going to happen and she started feeling defeated at the end of 39 weeks. On the night of 39 weeks 4 days, she got a phone call that her grandmother had fallen and was life-flighted to the hospital. By 3 a.m., she got the call that she should drive down to Denver (about an hour away), to say her goodbyes. Tonya’s mother-in-law came to watch Teal as Tonya, her husband, and her brother headed down to Denver at 4 a.m., arriving at 5.
As soon as they pulled into the hospital, Tonya started having diarrhea with contractions beginning shortly after. They were spaced out 10-15 minutes, but throughout the rest of the morning the contractions grew closer and closer. By around 1 p.m., Tonya’s mother and husband told her it was time to get going to the hospital. Tonya was afraid it wasn’t really happening (she wasn’t in as much pain as she was expecting; she just felt uncomfortable), so she hesitated to go in. Finally, they headed to the hospital at about 2:30pm to get checked. She was dilated to 5 cm with contractions coming about every 5 minutes so was admitted.
She was asked about an epidural, and the nurse on hand highly recommended it, especially being a VBAC patient, so she went ahead with it. Immediately, the epidural caused her to get sick, lose her hearing, and get dizzy, but the anesthesiologist eventually got it balanced out to where Tonya regained her hearing and started feeling better again. At about 7:30pm it was push time. Tonya felt like she was struggling to push, asked for a mirror, and eventually got the baby out at around 9:00pm. And they met their 2nd daughter, Layne. Within a half-hour of Layne being born, Tonya’s grandmother passed away. It truly felt like she was holding on until she heard Tonya’s baby’s name, who was named after her. A very bittersweet day.
Unmedicated VBAC & Emergency Hysterectomy
With her next baby, again, Tonya was determined to have a VBAC and felt much more confident this time. But, she really hated everything about the epidural so she really wanted to have an unmedicated birth this time. She watched many youtube videos and listened to the Birth Hour daily to help her prepare. At 39 weeks 4 days, Tonya woke up at midnight with her first contraction. She tried to sleep through them, but they progressively got more painful and closer together. At about 3am, she decided she better eat something in case she wasn’t going to be able to eat again for awhile.
At 4am, she showered and her husband started getting up and packing, thinking they should head to the hospital soon. Shortly after the shower, the contractions seemed to taper off, so Tonya laid back down and encouraged her husband to head to work. Once her older children woke up, the contractions were anywhere from around 7 to 12 minutes apart, so she fed them breakfast and decided to take them on a walk. The walk seemed to pick the contractions back up so when her husband called around 10am to check up on her, he decided it was time to head back home. They went to the hospital at 11:30am and were admitted because she was 6 cm dilated with contractions coming about every 3-5 minutes by then.
She had planned on walking, bouncing, and possibly sitting in the tub for labor, but the room they were admitted to did not have a tub. She also discussed with her doctor using the TENS unit and/or laughing gas for pain management before going to an epidural. Tonya tried the TENS unit, but within about 5 minutes of that, it was push time. She had about 5 big pushes and baby Eva was born. Tonya felt amazing after this birth! Like she could go run a marathon! She was in awe of her baby and the whole experience.
Then, the doctors started trying to get her placenta out. It was not coming out normally, so the doctors started kneading Tonya’s stomach. Still, it wasn’t coming, so they started pressing harder and harder. It got so painful, Tonya had to hand her baby off because she was in excruciating pain. Still, the placenta wouldn’t detach. Finally, after an hour of trying to manually extract the placenta, the doctor determined it was time for a D&C. Tonya was able to nurse her baby and introduce her to her sisters, mother, and mother-in-law and then they prepped her for what was supposed to be a 30 minute surgery. About 8 hours later, Tonya woke up on life support. Eventually she learned she had nearly bled to death and in order to stop the bleeding, the doctor had to perform a cesarean hysterectomy.
Tonya Trostel Bio
Tonya and her husband Evan have three beautiful daughters. Teal who is three, Layne who just turned 2, and Eva is her 4 month old. They reside in a small town in Colorado. Tonya is a former teacher and hair stylist but now is trying to keep up with her daughters as a stay at home mother. She has had three very different births, first was a c-section, second had an epidural VBAC and the last was a natural VBAC, followed by a cesarean hysterectomy due to placenta increta. Tonya is still recovering as she and her husband are adjusting to becoming a family of five.
The Birth Hour
This episode was sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.
Unplanned Cesarean Birth Under General Anesthesia
Allison always knew she wanted to have an unmedicated childbirth; her mom had three, so she assumed that is what she would be able to do as well. Allison and her husband took Bradley Method classes to prepare for childbirth together, and Allison was so excited to experience what her body was made to do. Allison started going to into labor 4 days after her due date, and went to the hospital where she labored overnight and into the next day. Exhausted, Allison ended up getting an epidural and dilated quickly. She pushed for over 3 hours; but, the baby didn’t come down, so Allison followed her gut and opted for a c-section. The epidural and spinal block didn’t work, so Allison ended up being put under general anesthesia. She woke up to find out that she had delivered a girl: Cora Jo, 9 lbs and 21 inches.
Birth Trauma Therapy
After her traumatic c-section and blood transfusion, Allison knew she had a long road of physical and emotional recovery. After 8 months, Allison was still having nightly flashbacks and intrusive thoughts, so she searched for a local birth trauma therapist. Going to therapy was one of her best decisions as it taught her how to handle the traumatic flashbacks of her birth. Allison shares some of the helpful exercises on the podcast.
Allison Lynch Bio
Allison lives in Madison, WI with her husband Jesse and their one year old daughter, Cora. She is a research administrator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Allison and her family love spending as much time as they can outdoors, even in the cold Wisconsin winters. Although her birth ended up in a traumatic emergency c-section, she is an advocate for natural birth and is very passionate about postpartum support and finding help when you need it. She is active in her local birth and new mother communities, so if you are local she can connect you. Connect with Allison on Instagram @AlliLynch14.
How to Heal a Bad Birth
Heal your Birth Story
Madison Postpartum Collective
Today’s episode was sponsored by Ergobaby. Ergobaby creates innovative solutions to meet the needs of today’s parents. With over 30 baby carriers in five different categories, Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies. At the end of today’s episode I spoke to Laura from Ergobaby about what makes them unique and the features of their newest stretchy wrap for those early days with baby. We will also be giving away a wrap over on Instagram so be sure to check that out as well!
Despite needing to be induced because of dangerously low amniotic fluid levels, Rebekah was able to have a natural and fast delivery with her first baby. Her hopes for repeating her natural delivery with baby number two were smashed when they discovered the baby was breech. After several attempts to encourage the baby to flip, eventually Rebekah delivered her second baby via c-section.
Rebekah dreamed of having a VBAC with her third baby, but knew that her history of low amniotic fluid could get in the way. Eventually, her low fluid did require Rebekah to be induced. The VBAC was not successful, and Rebekah had another c-section. However, a surprising discovery in the operating room confirmed that the c-section was meant to be.
Rebekah Hoffer used to bare her heart on stage as an actress, but now she bares her heart online. She still has a flare for the dramatic, but thankfully family appreciates that about her. Rebekah blogs at SimplyRebekah.com
. She shares money saving tips, parenting advice, and all the things she is learning about natural living. Rebekah can often be found expressing her hatred for cleaning and her deep passion of Oreos and reality TV.
Rebekah is also a regular co-host on the Sorta Awesome
podcast. Every week the co-hosts strive to find the awesome in the every day as they explore everything from the silly to the serious.
Why Does My Breast Milk Taste Bad?
Read Rebekah’s Birth Stories on her blog: Grace’s Birth Story – Fast & Natural, Noah’s Birth Story – Breech C-Section and Isaac’s Birth Story – Failed VBAC
Earth Mama Organics
At the end of this episode I talked to Westley about her favorite products from Earth Mama Organics, today’s sponsor. I’m a HUGE fan of their bottom spray and bottom balm! Plus be sure to check out their new deodorants coming soon!
Birth Center to Hospital Transfer and Unplanned Cesarean Birth
Pregnant with her first, Alyssa thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of her low-risk first and second trimesters. She had gathered her trusted team of an incredible husband, midwives, doula, and childbirth education via Stephanie Spitzer-Hanks, and made all of her plans surrounding a birth at the Atlanta Birth Center. Luckily, when signs of preeclampsia started creeping up in the third trimester, she was well-prepared to navigate throwing all of those plans out the window and heading to the hospital for an induction (and eventual emergency family-centered cesarean).
Alyssa Oliha Bio
Alyssa is currently based in Atlanta with her husband, Felix and their little one, Orion. She has a minor obsession with travel planning, a major sweet tooth (hello, ice cream!), drinks too much coffee, and has watched Moana (Orion’s favorite movie) more times than she can count. As a family, the Oliha’s love to travel, hike, and daydream about road trips across the country. Alyssa works full-time from home, alongside Orion and the two family pups, Thomas & Mika. Connect with her on Instagram @alyssaoliha
The Birth Hour’s Know Your Options Childbirth Course
Atlanta Birth Center
Chanda Williams (Doula/Photographer)
Earth Mama Organics
Earth Mama Organics is today’s sponsor. I’m a HUGE fan of their bottom spray and bottom balm and really all of their products!
Twin to Twin Transfusion Loss, Miscarriage and Rainbow Babies
Ashley shares the story of the loss of her twins, followed by a miscarriage, and then the birth of her rainbow babies. Her daughter Cates was born early and spent 33 days in the NICU; and, her son Rett and daughter Liza were both born full-term by scheduled cesarean. She shares how her faith affected the way she processed her losses, and how it all impacted her subsequent pregnancies and births.
Ashley Gilbreath Bio
Ashley Gilbreath is the founder of Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design and Parish Shoppe in Montgomery, AL. In addition to running her business and being featured in the HGTV show, Sweet Home Renovation, Ashley juggles life with three littles and a supportive husband. Connect with her on Instagram or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to be a supportive friend after pregnancy loss
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
This episode is sponsored by Stitch Fix, a personal styling service for men & women that sends clothing to your door. Stitch Fix is dedicated to styling women through all phase of their lives. If you’re expecting a baby – they’ve got you covered with their maternity styling option. From the first trimester to your post-baby bump, Stitch Fix Stylists will help you look and feel your best every step of the way. They have free shipping both ways and no subscription needed. Go to Stitchfix.com to get started!
Amy Morrison Bio
Amy Morrison is the founder of Pregnant Chicken, an online resource and blog for expectant and new parents featuring advice, information, and tips to keep your pregnancy fun.
In her former life she was a creative director at an ad agency but decided to quit and go freelance as an art director/graphic designer in 2004. She and her husband have two little boys (born in 2006 and 2008) and live in Toronto. She shares both birth stories in this episode—a cesarean birth and an Induction VBAC birth. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or PregnantChicken.com
Pregnant Chicken Pregnancy Calendar
Pregnant Chicken Resource Guide
Pregnant Chicken Newsletter full of great tips and info! Sign up!
QUIZ! Where Should You Give Birth Based on Your Personality Type?
Earth Mama Organics
At the end of this episode I talked to Westley about her favorite products from Earth Mama Organics, today’s sponsor. I’m a HUGE fan of their bottom spray and bottom balm!